The Clinton campaign has announced that Hillary plans to visit ground zero of the 9/11 attacks this Sunday. The weekend marks the 15-year anniversary of the September 11th attacks. According to The Associated Press, a spokesperson for Clinton said she plans to attend the annual moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., the time of the initial impact by American Airlines Flight 11 on the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Clinton was a senator from New York State on Sept. 11, 2001. Neither she, nor her campaign had given any hint that she would be attending the anniversary service at the 9/11 memorial. But the National September 11th Memorial & Museum received word from Clinton staffers to notify them that Hillary would be attending service in the morning.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, despite being a New York native, is not expected to attend. A representative of Mr. Trump refused to comment on the celebrity businessman’s plans for the day.
As has been traditional among presidential campaigns in the last 15 years, both Clinton and Trump will be suspending their campaign television ads for the duration of the day.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Sept. 11 Memorial told the AP that, although the museum had not yet heard from Trump or Clinton, both candidates would be welcome should they have a change of plans. For both candidates to show up would mean the beginning of a noble tradition. Back in 2008, Barack Obama and John McCain briefly set aside their political differences and attended the memorial together.
Nearly 3,000 people died in the September 11th attacks, making the event the worst terrorist attack of all time and the worst attack by a foreign power on American soil since Pearl Harbor. Trump and Clinton are the first New Yorkers to become nominees for the Republicans and Democrats since the attacks in 2001, and have incorporated their experiences into their platforms and narratives.
Clinton, for example, released a campaign ad on Friday which highlights her efforts to aid the victims of the World Trade Center collapse, such as rescue workers afflicted with respiratory conditions. She has made many trips to the site of the attacks.
Donald Trump has claimed to have donated construction equipment to aid crews working in the aftermath of the attacks to rescue survivors and clear debris. He also claims to have donated $100,000 to the memorial following a tour he took of it several months ago. Trump drew massive criticism last year when he said that he saw “thousands and thousands” of Muslims cheering when the towers in New York City fell.
Many other elected officials have visited the 9/11 memorial over the years, including President Barack Obama and George W. Bush. But in an admirable tribute to the solemnity of the space and the event, the speakers will primarily be made up of surviving family members of people who lost their lives. Hillary Clinton does not plan on making a speech.
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